Boris Johnson warns there’s ‘potential for even greater suffering than we endured in January’
This comes after a number of Covid variants have been detected abroad and in the UK
Speaking in the House of Commons today, Boris Johnson has reiterated that the fight against COVID-19 is still very much ongoing and warned that should new variants start to spread "they would have the potential for even greater suffering than we endured in January".
Addressing MPs regarding the latest coronavirus update as we near the supposed end of lockdown, he stated that “our own scientific advisers judge that, although more positive data is coming in and the outlook is improving, there could still be another resurgence in hospitalisations and deaths".
The Prime Minister said on Monday that Britain will see the "end of social distancing" next month - with June 21st being the proclaimed de facto 'Back to Normal Day'. There were zero deaths recorded in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland yesterday.
Naturally, however, the government are exercising caution given a number of Covid variants still circulating the global population. The Indian strain, in particular, which has ravaged the country, has now reportedly been detected in 44 different countries according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
After announcing plans for Covid commemoration, Johnson went on to warn that “we also face the threat of new variants and, should they prove highly transmissible and elude the protection of our vaccines, they would have the potential for even greater suffering than we endured in January.”
In addition, the Prime Minister also officially announced the independent inquiry into his administration's handling of the pandemic. Having already faced significant delays, the investigation is set to take place in Spring 2022 but we may not hear of any real findings until 2023.
"This process will place the State's actions under the microscope"
UK PM Boris Johnson says independent public inquiry will consider "all key aspects" of the UK's response to the pandemichttps://t.co/65whlvsyml pic.twitter.com/JEDW3uuS7z
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) May 12, 2021
During his address, he stressed the need for "as much transparency as we possibly can," and in within as "reasonable time scale" as possible. Opposition leader, Keir Starmer, did ask "why can it not be later this year?", reinforcing that the inquiry should be carried out "as soon as possible"; however, the PM said he did not feel the UK could devote the time and resources at the moment.
A no. 10 spokesperson also confirmed that Johnson - who also dodged questions around his £535 debt - would be willing to go under oath and hand over private texts and emails if asked to do so. We're sure they'll be as squeaky clean as Matt Hancock's WhatsApp.